John T. Whatley K-8 School opened its doors in 1960 in the North Avondale Community of Birmingham, AL. The school was named for legendary jazz musician John T. “Fess” Whatley. The school honors his willingness and determination to succeed, his dedication to service in the community, and his pursuit of excellence. Fess Whatley also served the Birmingham School system as band director at the Tuggle Institute and Birmingham Industrial High School from which many other musicians came under his tutelage, one such musician was Erskine Hawkins. The school was converted into an elementary school in 1989 and in 2003 was reverted back to a K-8 school. Presently we are awaiting the construction of the new Carol W. Hayes K-8 School schedule to open in 2012.